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PHILADELPHIA--The day didn't start off so hot for Penn State cornerback Chaz Powell in the Nittany Lions' 14-10 win against Temple on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field.
On the Owls first drive, the senior was burned badly and hit with a pass interference call that set up the game's first touchdown by Temple's Bernard Pierce. Later, he got in a shoving match with the Owls' Matt Brown that caused off-setting personal foul penalties to be called.
With the game on the line, though, Powell stepped up in the fourth quarter.
Facing a 3rd-and-14 on his own 36-yardline, Temple quarterback Mike Gerardi dropped back and threw toward the near sideline, where Powell was waiting to pick off the pass. Then, it was off to the races as Powell took the ball back 26 yards, settling the Lions up in scoring range while trailing by three.
Evan Lewis missed a field goal on the ensuing Penn State drive, but Powell did all he could to put his offense in a position to score and thwarted a Temple threat with an exclamation point. It was the type of big play on defense that Lion defenders have been talking about making all season, and it helped Penn State get a much-needed win.
Here are some of Powell's comments post game.
PHILADELPHIA--Heading into the 2011 season, Penn State's wide receiving corps was widely viewed as one of the team's biggest strengths. Through two games against Indiana State and Alabama, however, drops plagued the Nittany Lions' wideouts and starters Justin Brown and Derek Moye had a hard time establishing much momentum.
Entering Saturday's game against Temple, Brown had just four receptions for 52 yards for the season, while Moye was limited to seven catches 108 yards.
Both exceeded that production in just four quarters as the Lions toppled the Owls 14-10 at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday.
Moye went off for seven catches and 112 yards while Brown had six receptions and 62 yards. Those numbers included some crucial plays as well. Derek Moye's catch on a 4th-and-2 during Penn State's final offensive drive was arguably the team's biggest play of the season. Without it, there's a good chance the Lions would have been losers, but instead, Moye made a big play, and kept what would prove to be the game-winning scoring drive going.
After the game, Moye was pleased that his team looked to him for a big play.
"I always want the ball, especially in that situation," Moye said. "I feel like the team maybe somewhat looks to me in those situations to make a big play so I feel like when they throw me the ball, I have to make it."
Moye also got involved in the game on special teams, returning a punt 31 yards in the second half.
All in all, it was the wideouts' best performance to day, and they'll look to keep the momentum going against Eastern Michigan this coming weekend.
Below, check out Brown's postgame comments on he and Moye's performances and the Lions' decision to go for the 4th-and-1 down near the goal line on their final drive that set up Michael Zordich's game-winning touchdown.
PHILADELPHIA--Penn State topped Temple here at Lincoln Financial Field today on a late touchdown by Michael Zordich. The win dropped the Owls to 2-1 on the season. After the game, Temple coach Steve Addazio, cornerback Tahir Whitehead and quarterback Mike Gerardi reacted to the loss. Here are some quotes.
Addazio on switching up quarterbacks
"We felt that all week long we wanted to come out here and try to establish some power runs and play action. Then we felt that we struggled in that game with their defensive front, so we go to [Chester] and he started to exercise some spread option in there which gave us a little boost. Not a ton, but a little for sure."
Addazio on Bernard Pierce's four carries in the second half
"We weren't converting first downs. We tried to throw the ball a little bit to try and loosen that thing up. We hit a little funk and the power run game really wasn't there at that point. But we really tried to loosen things up."
Whitehead on the close game and responding to the loss moving forward
"We are going to watch the film the next day after the game, and get over it as quickly as we possibly can, because we have a big game next week. You just want to digest it as quickly as possible."
Whitehead on Penn State's fourth down conversion near the endzone
"We were anticipating a fullback dive, possibly option. Everyone runs the option in situations like that. But they got a little push and they ended up getting the first down"
Gerardi on his two interceptions
"It's very tough, but you just try to forget it, but it's still there. You want to continue to get better and make improvements so that it does not happen again. I know I'm going to try and learn -- all of us are going to try to learn -- from the mistakes we made, so that it does not happen again."
PHILADELPHIA--Penn State earned a tough fought 14-10 victory against Temple today here at Lincoln Financial Field. Here are the final stats.
Silas Redd led the Nittany Lions on the ground, gaining 86 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries, good for a 5.4 yard per carry average. Brandon Beachum had 28 yards on 11 carries, a 2.5 average. Michael Zordich had 2 yards and a touchdown on his two carries, while Joe Suhey gained 1 yard on his only carry.
Temple was paced on the ground by Bernard Pierce, who gained 54 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, a 2.9 average. Chester Stewart gained 26 yards on nine carries and Matt Brown had 15 yards on a pair of carries.
For Temple, Mike Gerardi was 9-22 for 95 yards and two interceptions. Chester Stewart was 3-6 for 28 yards.
Derek Moye was Penn State's top man receiving. He had seven receptions for 112 yards on the afternoon. Justin Brown wasn't far behind for the Lions, racking up 62 yards on six catches.
Defensively, Michael Mauti and Devon Still led the way for Penn State with six stops each. Mauti had three tackles for loss and an interception while Still came up with a sack. Chaz Powell also had an interception for Penn State, while Sean Stanley came up with a sack and two forced fumbles on the afternoon.
PHILADELPHIA--All day, Penn State fought to get momentum, and just about all day, Temple stemmed the tide.
On the Nittany Lions final drive, however, they rose to the occasion on offense and finished their most important drive of the young season with a one-yard touchdown by Michael Zordich. The score lifted them to a 14-10 win against the Owls and averted what could have been a devastating loss at Lincoln Financial Field.
The final drive began with 8:46 remaining on the Temple 44-yardline and the Lions trailing 14-10. Rob Bolden was Penn State's man under center after he'd split time with Matthew McGloin all afternoon.
The Lions chipped away at Temple's defense and advanced to the Owls' 27-yardline. On 3rd-and-6, they came up short and were faced with a 4th-and-2 on the Temple 23.
Down three, it would have seemed like an obvious kicking situation in most games. Not Saturday, however, as Penn State kicker Evan Lewis had already missed two field goal and backup Sam Ficken had one blocked at the end of the first half.
Coach Joe Paterno decided to go for it, and put the game in Bolden's hands. The sophomore dropped back and found wide receiver Derek Moye for 11 yards and a clutch first down.
"Seeing the coverage I felt like Rob was going to come to me," Moye told reporters after the game. "He fired it in there. I kind of didn't really have a choice but to catch it with how fast it came."
The conversion kept Penn State's march going, but it wasn't long before the Lions would face a big decision once again.
After advancing to the 4-yardline, Penn State was faced with a 3rd-and-2 from but fumbled the snap, gaining barely a yard. Suddenly, it was 4th-and-1 on the Temple and Paterno was faced with a crucial decision again.
Paterno took a chance and went for it, and Brandon Beachum converted with a 2-yard run down to the one.
"I think the score, and the fact that we were doing as well as we were defensively that we could take a couple of chances."
The coach's faith paid off, and Zordich capped the drive with his touchdown on the next play.
When the dust settled, and offense that had failed to established momentum all afternoon had gone 44 yards on 12 plays in 6:03 to get a score they had to have on the road.
The overall performance might not get many too excited about this team as Big Ten play looms, but if the Lions go on to do anything this season, they might look back at the final drive in Philadelphia as the starting point.
PHILADELPHIA--On the ensuing kickoff following Michael Zordich's touchdown for Penn State, Temple fumbles, but recovers and sets up shop on its own 31-yardline.
The Owls move the chains on their first two passes from Mike Gerardi and get close to midfield. Penn State forces a thrid-and-5, but is hit with a personal foul call on Drew Astorino for leading with the head while trying to break up a pass across the middle. Temple advances to the Penn State 34.
The Penn State defense then forces three straight incompletions and Sean Stanley sacks Gerardi on fourth-and-10. Temple has only one timeout, so with 1:01 left, that should about do it.
Yours truly is heading down to the press room now for post game comments from Joe Paterno and his players. Stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh through the weekend for reaction and analysis to this nail biter in Philadelphia.
That's it. Penn State wins 14-10. More to come.
PHILADELPHIA--Temple converts a third-and-five to start its drive but Michael Mauti intercepts Mike Gerardi's pass to give Penn State the ball back again, this time at the Temple 44.
Rob Bolden deploys Rob Bolden at quarterback for this drive. His first pass back, he throws a screen pass right into the arms of a Temple defender, who drops it. He comes back nicely and hits Devon Smith for a first down, though.
Devon Smith is blown up on a misdirection play. Penn State is then stopped short on third-and-6. The Lions go for it on fourth-and-2 and Bolden hits Moye for 11 yards to keep the drive going. Moye is now over 100 yards receiving.
Penn State runs Beachum into the line a couple of times and advances to the Temple 4-yardline. The Lions then fumble the snap. They go for it on fourth down, and Beachum pounds it down to the 1-yardline for a first down.
On the next play, Michale Zordich punches the ball in the endzone for a one-yard touchdown. Evan Lewis converts the extra point, and Penn State now leads 14-10 with 2:42 to play.
Penn State scoring summary: 12 plays, 44, yards and 6:04 time of possession.
PHILADELPHIA--Matthew McGloin is still in there for Penn State at quarterback.
Justin Brown pulls in another reception for Penn State, but he's injured on the play. He's holding his arm a little bit coming off the field.
Now Chima Okoli is down. He went off earlier and came back, but he's helped off the field for the second straight week after rolling an ankle against Alabama.
Penn State is forced to punt after failing to covert a 3rd-and-1. Against Temple. Penn State failed to convert a 3rd-and-1 down three points against Temple. Chilling turn of events if you're a Nittany Lion fan.
Temple will take over on its own 23. Mike Gerardi returns for the Owls at quarterback, and completes a 17-yard pass on his first play. Chaz Powell picks off a third down pass, however, and takes it back to the Temple 26. Penn State with a golden, golden opportunity now with 11:42 remaining in the game.
McGloin is back at quarterback to start this drive, but after missing on a deep ball to Derek Moye in the end zone, Penn State goes no where. This forces a field goal, and Evan Lewis misses yet again, this time from 36-yards. It's getting bizarre here, folks.
With 10:43 to play, Temple still leads 10-7.
PHILADELPHIA--Matthew McGloin has promptly replaced Rob Bolden at quarterback following Bolden's interception on the last drive. Not really a surprise. McGloin clearly has the hot hand today, and just as he stuck with Bolden when he looked better last week against Alabama, don't be surprised to see Joe Paterno stick with McGloin in this one.
Justin Brown makes a nice 8-yard reception to covert on third down. He's having a nice day, already with five catches after two quiet games against Indiana State and Alabama.
Drive is, in fact, killed as Penn State fails to make the 20 yards for the first down. Temple then blocks the ensuing punt and will take over on the Nittany Lions' 39. What a swing of momentum.
Fortunately for Penn State, the Lions' forces a three-and-out, bringing the punt team out for Temple. Huge, huge bullet dodged there.
Penn State gains six yards on the first two plays of its drive. That runs out the clock in the third quarter. We'll move to the fourth here at Lincoln Financial Field with Temple leading 10-7.
PHILADELPHIA--Michael Mauti is back out there for Penn State to start this defensive sequence. Looks like he's OK after coming up lame on the last sequence.
Rob Bolden is warming up for Penn State down on the sideline. This is pretty puzzling. The offense has clearly, clearly been better today with Matthew McGloin in there. We'll see if Bolden is actually deployed when the Nittany Lions get the ball back.
Sean Stanley forces a fumble for Penn State and Nick Sukay recovers, setting the Lions up on their own 48. Rob Bolden returns at quarterback, and promptly gives the ball right back, throwing an interception to the near side to Kee-Ayre Griffin. Yikes. Ugly sequence of football there.
Back on defense, Penn State forces a quick three-and-out, closing nicely to finish the Temple wideout and force an incompletion in third and long.
With 5:05 to play in the third quarter, Temple still leads Penn State 10-7 here at Lincoln Financial Field.
PHILADELPHIA--Temple gets the ball to open the second half after the Owls won the toss at the beginning of the game. Matt Brown returns the ball 30 yards to the Penn State 33.
The Nittany Lions' Michael Mauti walks off the field after a second down pass play. He went off under his own power, so we'll keep an eye on what happens to him.
Devon Still sacks Stewart on third down, and Penn State forces a punt. Big stand for the Lions there.
Justin Brown muffs the punt return badly, and a personal foul penalty pushes Penn State back even further. The Lions will set up from their own 7-yard line.
Matthew McGloin gets the call at quarterback to start the second half for Penn State. He was 4-6 for 56 yards in the first half, so it'll be interesting to see what he does here.
McGloin hits his first two passes, the second a 17-yarder to Derek Moye to get Penn State out to the 38. A penalty stalls the Lions' drive out, though, and they're forced to punt. With 9:02 to play in the third quarter, it's still Temple 10, Penn State 7.
PHILADELPHIA--Here is a halftime stat pack from Penn State vs. Temple here at Lincoln Financial Field.
Silas Redd leads Penn State in rushing with 55 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. That's a 6.5 yard per carry average. Brandon Beachum has 11 yards on four carries. Michael Zordich and Joe Suhey each have one yard on one carry.
For Temple, Bernard Pierce is the leading rusher with 47 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. That's a 3.3 yard per carry average. Matt Brown has 15 yards on his only carry, and Chester Stewart has 11 yards on four carries.
Overall, Temple has outgained Penn State on the ground, 69-52.
Mike Gerardi leads Temple with 51 yards on 4-10 passing. Chester Stewart is 1-1 for 16 yards.
Overall, Penn State leads Temple in passing yards, 115-67.
Justin Brown leads Penn State in receiving with four catches on 45 yards. Derek Moye has 67-yards on three catches.
PHILADELPHIA--Chester Stewart is now in the game for Temple at quarterback. He brings a running dynamic to the Temple offense, so look for him to be slippery back there and offer some different looks for the Nittany Lions' defense.
A 16-yard pass from Stewart to Joe Jones and a 15-yard run by Matt Brown gets Temple down to the Penn State 23. The Lions force a stop, but Temple is close enough to get a 40-yard field goal from Brandon McManus to take a 10-7 lead.
Temple scoring summary: 8 plays, 39 yards, 4:12 time of possession. There are 37 seconds remaining in the half.
Penn State decides to throw the ball with Matthew McGloin as time ticks down on the clock. After a few garbage passes, McGloin hits Derek Moye for a 39-yard pass and sets up Sam Ficken for a 49-yard field goal attempt. The kick is blocked, though, and the teams head to the half with Temple leading 10-7. We'll have stats in a minute.
PHILADELPHIA--Devon Still is a one-man wrecking crew for Penn State right now on the defensive line. He gets to Temple running back Bernard Pierce twice as the Nittany Lions force a three-and-out to get the ball back, trailing 7-0.
Penn State partially blocked the punt and will get excellent field position, beginning the drive from midfield.
Matthew McGloin was warming up for Penn State on the last defensive drive, and he's trotting out with the offense now. We'll see if he can give the Lions' offense a spark. Penn State was outgained 96-81 with Rob Bolden in the game.
McGloin completes his first pass to Silas Redd for one yard, officially eclipsing his yardage total from last week against Alabama, when he was 1-10 for zero yards. He comes back and hits Justin Brown on 3rd-and-5 to keep the Lions' drive moving.
Penn State's running game is getting nothing right now. The Temple defensive line is plugging every hole, and neither Silas Redd nor Brandon Beachum are finding room to run. This is a departure from the last two weeks, when Penn State was able to run all over Indiana State and had some momentum going against Alabama before the passing game's struggles made Penn State one dimensional and easy to stop.
A facemask on Temple advances the Lions to the Owls' 17.
And just as I talk about Penn State's struggles running the ball, Redd snaps off a nicely blocked 17-yard touchdown run to tie the game here at the Linc. We'll see if that give the Lions' offensive line a shot in the arm as we move toward the end of the first hals.
Penn State scoring summary: 7 plays, 50 yards, 3:14 time of possession. There is 4:57 remaining in the half.
PHILADELPHIA--The crowd has really filled in here as we begin the second quarter. The lower bowl is about full and the upper decks on the sidelines are about half full. It's a majority Penn State crowd, but not by a whole bunch. Lot of Temple fans here.
Penn State's defense is gashed for 13-yards on a second down run by Bernard Pierce. He got by the Lions' Drew Astorino on the corner. Temple gets another first down on a deflected pass from Mike Gerardi to Matt Brown up to the Owls' 33.
Temple's drive peters out, though, as Penn State forces a 3rd-and-9 before thwarting a Gerardi pass.
In case you were wondering, Joe Paterno is not, in fact, on the sideline today. He's upstairs for the third straight game after walking around without a crutch during warm ups.
Rob Bolden gets the call again on Penn State's third drive. We're now in the second quarter, though, so clearly the Lions' coaching staff isn't going to break the game down by quarters.
Shawney Kersey drops his second pass on first down throw from Bolden. Kersey said this week he wears No. 81 because he likes Terrell Owens. I guess that's fitting, because he's playing like TO right now, and not the good TO. The TO that leads the NFL in drops every year.
Penn State tackle Chima Okoli has left the field. Not sure whether he's been benched or is having a flair up of an existing injury from last week against Alabama. Stay tuned for more on that.
The Owls deflect a pass on third down, stalling out another Penn State drive. Still 7-0 Temple here with 9:50 to play in the half.
PHILADELPHIA--Rob Bolden is once again the guy under center for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State answers Temple's touchdown with a 21-yard run by running back Silas Redd and a 16-yard pass to wide receiver Derek Moye. The Lions get bogged down near the Temple 30, however, and Evan Lewis misses a 45-yard field goal. He's now 1-4 kicking field goals this season. If he misses again, we might see true freshman Sam Ficken or Anthony Fera in there.You can bet Joe Paterno isn't pleased about the way the kicking game is going right now.
On the subject of quarterbacks, couldn't help but notice the bad timing between Bolden and Shawney Kersey on the last Penn State drive. Could it be a product of Bolden not getting enough first team snaps? Something to keep an eye on.
The Lions' defense locks down on the Owls on the ensuing Temple drive, so no damage done by the missed field goal.
Derek Moye returns the Temple punt for 31-yards. Lots of nice blocking out in front on that one.
Penn State offense goes no where on its ensuing drive, though. Three runs and out. A Temple run brings us to the end of the first quarter still 7-0 Temple. Do we have an upset brewing here?
PHILADELPHIA-Rob Bolden was 2-4 for 24 yards on Penn State's first drive. Not a bad start, though the fumble was almost very costly.
Penn State's defensive line got some real heat on Temple QB Mike Gerardi on his first pass attempt, but he found Evan Rodriguez for a 10-yard gain.
Wow, there's Gerardi to Rodriguez again, this time for 43 yards, followed by a pass interference by Penn State that moves Temple to the Lions' 18. Owls are threatening and doing so by attacking Penn State's heralded secondary.
A facemask by Penn State moves Temple to the Lions' 7-yard line.
A couple of runs later, Temple draws first blood on a two-yard jaunt by Bernard Pierce. If you're Penn State, that's a wake-up call. Joe Paterno said this week this is the best Temple team he's ever seen. It's playing out that way right now, and Penn State might be in trouble.
Temple scoring summary: 8 plays 82 yards in 4:05. 6:54 remains in the first quarter as Penn State looks to answer.
PHILADELPHIA-Temple won the toss and decided to defer. Chaz Powell, taken off kick returns last week, was back deep for the Nittany Lions on the return.
Rob Bolden is getting his third straight start at quarterback today for Penn State. Joe Paterno said midweek he will be splitting time with Matthew McGloin once again. We'll see how the drives are split up today.
The Lions' offensive line is getting blown up pretty badly right now. Bolden has had time to complete a couple of passes, but he was just roughed up pretty badly and fumbled on a second down play and SIlas Redd has had no room to run.
The Owls forced a stop on 3rd-and-27 after the fumble. They'll get the ball for the first time with 10:59 to play in the first quarter, with the score still tied 0-0. We'll see how the Penn State defense responds on the first drive.
PHILADELPHIA--Greetings from Lincoln Financial Field here in the City of Brotherly Love. We're getting settled in for Penn State vs. Temple, set to start at noon on ESPN. Some pre-game notes for you:
-Curtis Drake is not on the travel roster and won't be in the action today. He got on the field last week, but coach Joe Paterno said earlier this week that he's still not 100%, so not a big surprise there.
-Paterno is walking around during warmups without the aid of a walking stick or cane. It's not yet clear whether he'll be down there for the game itself, but it looks like he's strong enough to at least handle pregame activities.
-Lots of Temple fans here today. This will likely not be de facto home game for Penn State at all, though there should be a lot of blue and white in the stands.
Stay tuned for updates throughout the game.
Penn State heads to Philadelphia to take on the Temple Owls in Week Three.
Injured Penn State wide receiver Curtis Drake saw the Beaver Stadium field for the first time since the 2009 season on Saturday when he was deployed on a running play in the Nittany Lions' 27-11 against Alabama, but his status moving forward remains uncertain.
Coach Joe Paterno told members of the media at his weekly press conference on Tuesday that he doesn't believe Drake is "100 percent" and is still practicing with a green cross jersey, indicating he's not yet ready to absorb contact, so where he fits into the Lions' offense moving forward is still up in the air.
Offensive lineman Quinn Barham indicated Drake is looking better however, which could mean he might be close to a return.
"He looks comfortable," Barham said. "I've been talking to him, asking him how he felt, and he's felt pretty good. I think the trainers are taking it slow with him. I know he wants to go."
Penn State got a scare on Saturday when offensive tackle Chima Okoli injured his leg against Alabama and was forced to leave the game early. Fortunately for the Nittany Lions, indications are he should be healthy and ready to go on Saturday when Penn State travels to take on Temple at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
Joe Paterno told the media in his weekly press conference on Tuesday at Beaver Stadium that he and the staff have yet to evaluate who will be in and who will be out against the Owls, but fellow lineman Quinn Barham indicated in his portion of the press conference that Okoli seems OK.
"I think it was a mind sprain, maybe, if anything" Barham said. "But he's fine. He was practicing yesterday, so he'll be OK."
Okoli has been a starter on the line since last season when he replaced the injured Dennis Landolt, who tore an ACL against Temple.
Coach indicates both Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin will see time against Temple this week.